What if you have no credit history or a bad credit score, but still need a car? Millions of people face this disjunctive in the United States every year. That’s why today we will talk about how to get a car with no credit.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported in 2020 that 35 million adults in the United States have no credit history because their credit history is too thin, outdated or they just don’t have one. “Credit invisibles”, as they are referred to by experts, face challenges in obtaining good financing opportunities.
“Without a credit score consumers may face challenges to accessing credit or qualifying for lower-interest rate loans and credit products,” the CFPB says in its report.
While 67 percent of Americans have a good FICO score or better, Experian says that 16 percent of adults in the country have poor scores. As you may think, only top credit scorers get the best financial conditions and lower interest rates. What would the conditions be for those who have no credit at all?
Keep reading as we will talk about how to get a car with no credit or even a cosigner. Would you like to know?
Get a Car Without Credit History
In the last ten years, the average FICO score in the United States has risen from 689 in 2010 to 711 in 2020. At the same time, almost 20 percent of the United States adult population are unscorable and credit invisible.
Most of those as credit invisible live in low-income neighborhoods. As the CFPB said in 2016, “consumers in low-income neighborhoods are disproportionately credit invisible and are more likely to have unscorable credit files. Of the consumers who live in low-income neighborhoods, almost 30 percent are credit invisible and an additional 15 percent have records that are unscorable.”
As a result, low-income adults have both poor credit conditions and low income levels to repay their debts. It is a vicious cycle that perpetuates poverty.
That being said, the best option is to start building your credit score if you don’t have it. Also, if you have a poor score, research how to boost your credit score step by step. But what if you need that car now?
No Credit vs. Bad Credit Financing
People with bad credit and no credit at all have the same problems. They don’t have easy access to financing. However, let’s explore atypical options for those two everyday situations.
What if you get a nay as the answer?
Dealers with no credit car financing options may be the answer to your problems. No-credit sellers are focused on clients that don’t have a credit history. They are willing to take the risk on you. The downside is that you will have to pay higher interest rates so the dealer can afford the risk.
In short: No credit? Pay more interest
That being said, if you don’t have a credit history, you will pay more in interest rates at the beginning of your car loan. Still, after six months or a year of on-time payments, you can ask for refinancing or just go to a credit union where they will offer you better credit conditions based on your newly established credit.
On the other hand, what if you have a bad credit score? Well, you are not at a dead-end, but you will need to prove that you will be able to pay back your car loan for sure.
Lenders believe that past actions can predict the future. So, if you have a bad credit score, that means you had problems handling your debts in the past. But no worries, there are dealers focused on people with bad credit too.
In short: Bad credit? More paperwork… and some more money.
How to get a car with no credit? Follow these steps
Buying a car with no credit can be challenging but not impossible. Follow the next steps to increase your approval chances.
Understand your finances
This might sound obvious, but the best way to get a car with no credit is to understand how much you can afford either as a total and on a monthly basis. How much can you pay every month? It will be your magic number.
Keep in mind that you will have to pay for the car loan but also the insurance, gas, car maintenance and reparations.
Put 10% down or even more
When buying a car with no credit, it is always a good idea to put the maximum downpayment you can afford. Why? Big down-payments mean you will end up borrowing less money. Therefore, the risk associate with your loan will be more minor.
In the end, the dealer will be able to offer better conditions as you will have to pay less interest and fees.
Bring a solid financial profile
Most of the time, people focus on credit ratings only. However, bringing evidence that you have a solid income will help your cause. Take proof of employment with you, past tax returns, pay stubs, etc. It will help you to reduce the risk associate with your loan, and, of course, dealers will offer better deals.
Visit more than just one dealer and financing options
No matter if you have a credit history or not, you still have financing options around you. Visit several dealers, of course, also credit unions, banks, and dealerships that are focused on bad or no credit profiles.
The more places you visit, the more options you will have. Remember that some institutions and merchants have different options, and you can gain some flexibility in the terms. Talk to more people, dealers, banks, and credit unions. Shop around and negotiate!
Evaluate the length of the loan
Do your maths and choose the best option for you. Consider the best combination between the length of the loan and the amount you will pay every month. Remember, the more months in your contract, the more money you will pay in interest.
On the other hand, the fewer months in your loan, the less risk the dealer will have to assume.
Find a cosigner
A cosigner can be a good option if you want to get better credit conditions, but you don’t mind sharing the ownership of your car. Ask a family member or a close friend with a better credit score than yours to cosign the loan with you.
Consider Financing alternatives. Where to get a car loan with no credit
While more than half of car loans are originated in banks and captive lenders, almost 40 percent of the total financing market comes from alternative lender companies.
Just for reference, captive finance companies are the lending division of automakers.
According to Experian, credit Unions represent 18 percent of the total financing in 2021, while finance companies account for 11.21 percent of the business, and other atypical lenders have 10 percent of the whole financing business in the United States.
So, why are you relying just on banks and automakers’ lending divisions?
I am pretty sure you have read advertisements like “no credit – no problem” everywhere. Well, it could be an excellent option for you to visit lenders and small dealers that work with all credit profiles. They will offer you different conditions that can match your needs.
Remember, local and small dealers can adapt themselves to your needs. They don’t need to comply with strict sales targets fully, and they can offer different cars at various prices and several lending options.
Check community banks and credit unions
I remember the first time I bought a car. The sales guy told me: Hey, got this APR, and then visit the Credit Union after six months, they will offer you a better rate. I asked him why? He told me they are organizations that help people.
So, before closing any deal, a visit to community banks and credit unions would be great in your search for a good car loan. And after that, visit them after you consolidate the first months of your credit history.
Another good option for getting your car with no credit is a marketplace where loan brokers work with you and analyze your financial information to get the best deals from their associated lenders. They will check all your data and match you with potential sponsors.
Buy a car on a short sale
It might be awkward, but sometimes you can take advantage of some one else financial problems. Car short sales are events when repossessed vehicles are on sale for a fraction of their value. You purchase the car in the condition it is. Cars are not guaranteed, but you bet that the vehicle is in good condition.
Some other people offer cars on short sales when the money they owe is more significant than the car’s worth.
Get your new vehicle from a car auction
How to get a car with no credit? The best answer for many people is going for a car auction. Reason? Price! Car auctions are a system of selling vehicles where a group of people bids for the same car. You decide when you offer a price or when you go out of the bidding process. You control your money and your options.
Borrow the money from a familiar
It is perhaps the easiest way to get a car with no credit. Just ask a familiar or a close friend for the money you need to buy a car. However, it could be tricky as you would jeopardize the relationship if you miss the payment.
A good practice when you borrow money from a friend or family is to offer them a reduced interest rate as a token of appreciation.
So, how to get a car with no credit…
As we talked about before, credit invisible conditions are not a dead-end. You always have options. Perhaps you will have to research more and adapt yourself and your wishes to your reality, but it is essential to understand that there will always be options for you.
Remember that when talking about how to get a car with no credit, it is important to do your homework and compare as many dealers and financial options as you can.